Sneak Peek: Stephanie Brubaker + Family


Two years ago, Stephanie Brubaker and her family moved into this apartment in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. Since light is a premium in Seattle, Stephanie says they were determined to create a bright, open space as a way of helping her family cope with the long, dark days. Their first project was to paint the olive green walls a warm beige, complementing the red brick fireplace. A couple prominent light fixtures were changed, which added a much-desired modern feel. In a rental, there are only so many changes that can be made, but thankfully these small changes have had a huge impact on the space without breaking the bank. Four children keep Stephanie and her husband very busy, but she manages to carve out time for many creative pursuits, including her pie box business; her blog, Stephmodo; and last but not least, their renovation of a medieval French cottage, which we’ve featured right here on Design*Sponge. Thank you, Stephanie and family! — Shannon

Image above: We opted for keeping the large windows sans treatments to help with opening up the dining room. You sacrifice a little bit of privacy by going this route, but the addition of natural light was totally worth it. The mid-century Danish modern table was a lucky Craigslist find for $130, and the chairs are by Tolix. Next to my children, they are my favorite things :) The vintage Wassily chairs are also a Craigslist find; I purchased the set of two for $100. In the winter, I throw sheepskins from Ikea over them to offset the coolness of the metal.


Image above: Like many of you, I feel very inspired by nature, so placing my desk directly next to the window seemed apropos. During quiet moments (usually after the kids are in bed), I’ll slide my laptop onto the desk and write away. The mid-century desk and lamp were both purchased on Craigslist, although the lamp can be purchased at Macy’s. Art is by Lauren Adams. The terrarium is something I made.

See more of Stephanie’s Seattle home after the jump . . .


Image above: I appreciate how transparent furnishings open up small spaces like this one. The console is from CB2, but I purchased it on Craigslist (as you can see, I am really putting my minivan to good use schlepping all this furniture around!). Photograph of Paris is by photographer Shannon McCullough-Wight.


Image above: My motto for living with kids is to put everything precious 4+ feet off the ground (so far so good!). Collecting art doesn’t have to be an expensive pursuit either — this I have learned. Many artists are either willing to trade or offer a very reasonable price if they are just getting started in their careers. Paintings by Chad Wys, Paul Ferney, Katherine Sandoz, Kelly Neidig and an unknown street artist in Florence.


Image above: After painting the kitchen, I added minimal stainless steel shelves to display cookbooks and recovered the benches in an Amy Butler print. Clock, Conran Shop; shelves, Pottery Barn; table, Lexington Modern


Image above: If you struggle to keep your plants alive, try air plants. They are pretty tough to kill! This one has lasted a very long time. Ikat fabric is Khanjali Glacier by Robert Allen.


Image above: In a previous life, I used our bedroom as a dumping ground. Now, I try to make it more of a sanctuary with just a few well-loved furnishings. Headboard by Pottery Barn (but purchased on C-list); pillow by Caitlin Wilson Textiles; nightstands by Target; task lamps by PBTeen on eBay; painting by Katherine Sandoz.


Image above: My son’s nursery is one of my favorite rooms. I love sitting in this chair while holding him, reading to him, feeding him, etc. Drawing by Dan Richards; chair by Ikea; rug by Overstock; shades by JCPenney; Magino stool/side table.


Image above: This time around, I opted for a simpler, more sophisticated nursery for my youngest son. The dresser/changing table on its own is pretty generic, so I changed out the knobs (Anthropologie) and hung a few vintage egg prints my husband gifted me a few years ago.

Jenny

I was wondering where the light fixture in the dining room came from? I’ve been searching for a white hanging drum light!

Thanks

annie

I love everything about this house tour. Everything is so well done! I would particularly like to hear more about the painting that is shown with the book nook — over the fireplace?

Very nice!

lisa s.

What a lovely and relaxing space. I especially like the photo of your bedroom. Very serene. I do wonder though, is your “stuff” very pared down and minimalist or do you just have lots of storage space?

Pete

Love the idea of making your own terrarium! I would appreciate instructions on what materials she used in the process. It does look simple enough. Terrarium’s are rather expensive, so this is a brilliant idea.

Leslie

I love this house. I live in the Puget Sound area as well and optimizing natural light, especially in apartments, is very difficult. Their space is so light and airy. I love it!

Stephanie

Jenny, the light fixture is from Restoration Hardware (although I bought it on Ebay at a $150 discount). I love it and highly recommend!

Annie, thank you for the kind words. The painting is by Linda Donohue on Etsy.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/lindadonohue?ga_search_query=linda+donohue&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all&ref=sr_gallery_2

Megan, the chairs are by Tolix of France, but I purchased them at Sundance Catalog (awesome site!).

Lisa, thank you for the compliment! I would say that we have really pared down. We are a family of 6 living in a city so so spaces are small. We do not have a storage unit or a garage. The home pictured is 80 years old and the closets are not large. I have to say it does feel good to have less, even if I was forced to do it :) I’ve written posts about this sort of thing on my blog…perhaps you might find them useful.

Louise, its the Fallon rug in sky blue.

And Leslie, thank you for the nice comment!

Susan

Light filled and lovely…I adore her blog and especially love her castle in France! (hope to visit someday)

Marika

Stephanie, Hello to a fellow Seattleite! How do you go about finding beautiful pieces on Craigslist? Are there certain words you search for? Any tips? I am quite new to Craigslist and would love to learn more. Beautiful home!!

Stephanie

I LOVE this house! The lighting looks so peaceful! I cracked up when I saw the bowl of limes. That’s a lot of limes! I wonder what they’ll be used for? :)

Stephanie

Susan, I hope you get a chance to visit our cottage too!

Marika, So C-list in Seattle is awesome but it’s a tight market. Sometimes it’s a matter of a couple minutes between grabbing a sale or not. I find that on Saturdays between 10 and 4 the best stuff is up for sale. Also, it’s important to be able to look beyond the bad iphone pic and see the gem that’s waiting to be yours! Here are a few other tips you may appreciate. The app I recommend helps a ton:

http://www.stephmodo.com/2011/02/4-steps-to-easier-and-better.html

Stephanie, I used all those limes to make two frozen key lime pies :)

MamaV

beautiful home! i love the silver frames, especially the silver matting. any tips on where to find something similar? thanks!

Linda Donohue

What a beautiful home and lovely view. I worked in a Scandinavian/Italian store for many years and have a place in my heart for the Wassily chairs. I love your color pallet.

Stephanie

Cher, thank you. Now, if only my drawers were as serene…:)

Mamav, to save money on framing, I purchased these Bainbridge Museum Gallery mats at a framing store and then had them placed in readymade frames by Nielsen (?).

Linda, thank you. So glad you are a part of it!

Luren

I really love the color of the walls — that warm beige. Do you know what brand and color it is? Planning on doing a paint job to my bedroom soon and would love the info!

Edie

Love the pared down simplicity!
I would love to know the colour of the baby’s room, please.

edie

chelsea

I have been waiting to see Stephanie’s home photographed! It’s beautiful, relaxing, stylish, peaceful, and perfectly curated, and real. Not surprised at all. She is so talented! I love it all. Makes me feel like I’m looking at a happy beach home in Cali as opposed to a rainy home in Seattle:)

Anna

Your space is inspiring- I think due to your carefully edited clean style! Love it! I’m wondering if you’re happy with your Lexington Modern tulip table? Is it the 48″ size and would you buy it again/recommend them? Thanks so much!

kalanicut

Lovely. Like best how this beautiful home seems to capture so well Stephanie’s life philosophies, desire to enjoy her family and her life and her excellent style. Thanks for sharing!

Yelle

I follow her on her own blog! So great to see her here! Her pieces are such classic and timeless staples.

Lynne

Stephanie, you are so great at editing. Your home is so beautiful and calming!! And I love all of your little touches…

Clare

Stephanie, I love your house. Really love the picture above your son’s chair – any more details about Dan Richards, where I could get something similar? Thanks!

Stephanie

You guys are warming my heart…thank you!

Edie and Luren, I apologize, but I can’t remember off the top of my head (and the paint cans are in the hands of the new homeowner most likely). If I have an epiphany, I’ll pipe in here! The warm beige is a Benjamin Moore color, that I know.

Chelsea, I only could take snapshots on days with light…had to be strategic as not every day one could photograph!

Anna, I am happy, yes. They have promos and stuff too so maybe look around for a discount. If you have more specific questions, let me know via email (stephmodo@gmail.com)

Kalani, Yelle & Lynne, thank you for being such great online friends and supports. Your comments mean a lot!

Clare, I will look into that. I wasn’t able to find his site to link to within the post, but I am friends with his sister so I will contact her and ask more. It was a custom piece I asked him to draw several years ago. If you want to email me, I’d be happy to give you more info!

bea

I love your home it’s absolutely lovely!

One quick question, I’ve been looking for a simple floor lamp for a while and I think the one in your son’s room is perfect. Would you be willing to share a source for that lamp?

l o v e l y t h i n g s

I love to see Stephanie’s Seattle home. I first found her blog after seeing her home in France right here! I love all the details from her art to what’s on her desk and her baby’s changing table and the egg prints above it. She has such a great eye and makes it look warm and loved.
annie

Stephanie

Hi Bea, I purchased that on Craigslist too! I’m such a junkie :) It’s a great way to procure nicer things on a budget. Which I am definitely on!

And Annie, thank you for those sweet words. Very touching. Thank you!

Steph B

What kind of chair is pictured along with the desk? Is it an acrylic one? Where did you find it?? Thank you for sharing these photos of your home, what beautiful spaces you’ve made!

Lauren

What a gorgeous home. I love how clean the space feels and every room has something original.

Eva @ Sycamore Street Press

Stephanie, your home is so beautiful! I’m so inspired by how you are able to keep it so clean and uncluttered. Something I need to get better at, ha ha. Also, you are the queen of Craigslist. I’m impressed!

Carey

I’m shocked to be saying this, but I’ve been in this house! It was for sale quite recently, and I visited it. Unfortunately it went pending before I could make an offer. None of the same beautiful furnishings were there, but all the more permanent touches were. The pictures don’t exaggerate at all: It was a really beautiful place. It is not, however, an apartment; this is a house. Here is a link to the listing: http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/2645-30th-Ave-W-98199/home/128409

Aline

Stephanie, your home is lovely! So peaceful and cozy… just a place to have good times and be happy with the loved ones!

Stephanie

Louise, I am sure you can find that rug in the UK. Google “Fallon rug UK”. Good luck!

Steph B: (funny, I am a Steph B too!) I purchased the acrylic ghost chair at Lexington Modern.

Alice and Lauren, thank you!

Eva, Craigslist is so incredible in Seattle. You would love it!!

Carey, that’s is so crazy! Yes, we moved out just after we snapped these images. And when D*S came calling, I decided to use the images from our old place since I was still in boxes at the time. And you’re right, it is a home–that was a typo. I hope you found a great place! I’m sure whatever you find will be better :)

Aline, thank you!

marcie

Your Craigslist table is a find and maybe even hand made (at least that’s what I’m imagining). I always look for the unique or custom pieces in a space. These are what really make it special. The dining chairs are amazing as well.

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